Quick decluttering jobs get you organized

By Kathryn Weber
Dec. 28, 2017 at 10:17 p.m.
Updated Dec. 29, 2017 at 1 a.m.

The countertops in bathrooms are often overflowing.

The countertops in bathrooms are often overflowing.   Contributed Photo:Dreamstime.com for The Victoria Advocate

We start the new year with high hopes of weight loss or eliminating unhealthy habits. At home, thoughts turn to slimming down, too. Minimalism is trending now as stuff has overtaken our homes, making them an unruly mess. This year, take on small decluttering jobs that you can do quickly rather than massive undertakings. Throughout the year, it can result in a pared down home that's lighter and more organized.


The countertops in bathrooms are often overflowing. Buy a stackable countertop organizer that can corral beauty items. Better still, borrow an idea from the kitchen and install pull out drawers on a free weekend afternoon. This will enable you to pull out items, see what's on hand, and keep the counters clear and neat. Edit the shower and cabinets, tossing out any unused bathroom items. Even if you paid good money for the shampoo that never lathered, you're not getting your money's worth if you're not using it. Dump the contents and recycle the containers.


Take a cue from hotel rooms, and work to clear off the tops of dressers and tables. If you use lots of nighttime lotions and potions, put them in a decorative box or basket that keeps them neatly in one place. If shoes are spread out on the floor, contain them in a tub that's tall enough to hold them, but still slip under the bed. Work at paring down artwork and pictures in the bedroom. Opt for a simpler look to make the bedroom into a tranquil oasis. Place a box in the bedroom closet to collect clothing to donate throughout the year. Be sure to edit the linen cabinet, throwing out worn, mismatched or damaged sheets and towels.


Install cabinet door organizers on the sink cabinets to hold cleaning products you use every day, like spray cleaner or dish soap. Add a small basket inside the organizer to hold dishwasher detergent tabs. Place other cleaning items under the sink that you use less often in a basket on one side, keeping the items you use the most, like trash bags, on the other side rather than haphazardly putting anything anywhere. This keeps the sink cabinet neater.

In the pantry and the refrigerator, remove any items that have been haunting the shelves too long. Specialty gourmet items you thought you'd use and haven't should go in the trash.

Clear out a shelf to put the toaster and other appliances inside a cabinet. If you don't use it daily, put it away. Throw out all mismatched items, like plastic or dinnerware, and donate any doubles. Make it a point to wipe down refrigerator shelves each week before you go grocery shopping. Your refrigerator will be more streamlined and cleaner.

Recycling center

To encourage getting rid of things, create a recycling and donation center at the back door. Junk mail can be dropped in easily on the way into the house, and when you're in the kitchen, throwing away plastic or glass containers is in easy reach. Be sure to include a bin to hold items for donation. When you have a dedicated container for donations, you'll use it more often, and it'll encourage more decluttering.

Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website, redlotusletter.com.



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